New Years Resolutions
Rose Beidahl, M.
Many of you have already set your New Year’s
resolutions aside and they have joined the yearly
disposal box containing self recriminations such
as "I have failed again, I tried but failed
miserably; or this was too hard for me this year—maybe
As a parent educator, I wonder how many of your
resolutions that went adrift are related to
parenting. While parenting three active children,
I remember making daily resolutions and daily
breaking them Whether you make parenting
resolutions on New Year’s or tend to make and
break them daily, I would like to suggest a way of
keeping those promises you make to your family and
First, determine whether the parenting
resolution you choose will change the relationship
in a positive manner between you and your child;
as well as your spouse or mate. Second, pick no
more than one challenge to work on at a time.
Finally, after feeling secure about that
particular issue you may move on to another, but
try not to rush yourself.
The following is a suggested resolution list to
enhance your parenting. Note: each resolution is
first written as a general goal, which will likely
set you up for failure. In contrast, the revised
version is written as a specific plan to help
ensure your success.
- Spend more time with the children.
Revised: I will spend one more hour a week with
each child in a mutually enjoyable activity.
- Listen more to my children. Revised: I
will each day, at a designated place and time,
actively listen without commenting for ten minutes
to what my child wants to tell me about any
- Lose my temper less with the children.
Revised: For two weeks I will select a specific
area that often pushes my buttons and faithfully
try positive solutions that are ( if possible )
mutually worked out with each child.
- Join a parenting class. Revised: I
will call for information or visit a class to help
ensure my present needs will be met, followed by a
full commitment to the class I decide to join.
- Attend more of the children’s
activities. Revised: For one month if I cannot
attend all of my children’s activities I will
rotate activities; or select an additional one and
diligently attend no matter what !
- Be more patient. Revised: Once a month
I will select one area of impatience with each
child and patiently work out ( if possible ) with
the child a positive solution.
- Spoil my children less. Revised: Twice
a year I will select one way that I continually
indulge my children, talk it over with them (if
possible), and replace it with a mutually agreed
non-materialistic and loving substitute.
- Keep promises better. Revised: One
month at a time I will commit not to make any
promises I cannot keep.
- Hit and yell less. Revised: I will for
eight weeks increase my knowledge about methods of
correcting my children through reading, joining a
parent support group, or talking to others about
positive discipline; or any combination of these
- Read more to my children. Revised; I
will for six weeks increase my reading of one book
a week to my children at home and reading one more
book when visiting the public library.
- Become a more perfect parent Revised:
I will remember each year not to strive for
parenting perfection. Instead I will remind myself
I continually have strengths as a parent; as well
as on-going challenges on the frequently bumpy
road of this wondrous and unique journey we call
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